Given the current state of the US economy, buying a house today might just be the bargain you were looking for. Whether you are looking for a personal home or an investment property, there is something for everyone in the US real estate market.
However, before taking the leap, there are a few things you should know. Here are the eight primary factors you should keep in mind before making your first US Property investment.
1. Listings are shared amongst real estate agents
If you are looking for property in the US, you don’t have to go from one agent to another. Real estate listings are shared amongst agents and even clients can view them on various websites, such as Zillow.
2. You can obtain financing if you can secure the right down payment
Foreign buyers can qualify for financing real estate purchases in the US, as long as they are able to put forward a 30 – 40 per cent of the down payment. In some cases, the bank may require you to deposit a specific sum and many will ask for a copy of your bank statements, for a period of at least three months.
3. Legal structure can limit potential liabilities
If you are looking to establish a career as a property investor in the US, you should definitely consider setting up a LLC or a corporation, as this can give you a ton of tax advantages. In addition, it can even protect your assets and finances in case of legal action.
4. Buying real estate does not give you living rights
According to the US legislation, purchasing a property in the country does not grant you any special privileges regarding your status or stay. So, if you are looking for a home in the US, make sure you also contact an immigration lawyer who can help you sort out all the necessary paperwork.
5. Local knowledge is vital
The trickiest thing about foreign property investment is that it is sometimes hard to consider all the parameters needed to make a good decision. But if you’re looking to invest in US property, you should make it a point to amass as much information as you can about the area you are looking into.
6. Don’t be put off by US taxes
People who have never invested in the US property market might be turned off when they learn about the amount of bureaucracy and taxes an investor has to deal with.
However, with enough patience you should be able to succeed…
Excerpted from an article originally published in issue 3 of Property Inc. magazine.